Sugar and Salt

Author: Allison Wilson Lee — Host: Dylan KraayenbrinkPosted on: May 17, 2024

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Sugar and Salt

READ: ROMANS 8:1; HEBREWS 4:14-16; 1 JOHN 1:8–2:2

I’d just arrived in a new-to-me country on the other side of the world. I had left a sweltering summer in Florida, where I lived…and landed in a blustery New Zealand winter to begin a year of ministry. A missionary couple offered their home for my first few days there. When I trudged into their house, I wanted nothing more than a cup of hot tea. After getting my tea just right, I spotted what I assumed to be a tiny sugar bowl near the stove. I spooned some sugar into my cup and took the first delightful sip. Only my tea wasn’t delightful; it was dismal. I’d mistakenly added salt, not sugar. It was a mistake I never made again at this family’s house.

Some errors are harder to leave behind, though. There are days when I’ve found myself doing the same wrong things over and over, such as doubting God’s goodness or acting out of fear instead of faith. It can lead me to wonder in disappointment—when will I learn?

Sometimes our sins surprise us, like a mouthful of salty tea, but God isn’t ever surprised by our sin. He knows everything we do, think, or say, and He knows that we’ll all struggle with sin until Jesus returns. So, until that day, God’s instructions to His people are not to hide our sins, but rather to acknowledge those wrongdoings to Him. We don’t need to be afraid to come to God with our sins, because being God’s people means we have received forgiveness from sin and entered a relationship with Him through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. So, when we confess our sins to God, we experience reminders of His lovingkindness: that Christ took the penalty for our sin on Himself, and we don’t face that any longer (1 Peter 2:24).

That evening in New Zealand, I could have chosen to try to hide my mistake and drink salty tea. Instead, I poured it out and started fresh. God gives us fresh starts, too. In Jesus, we’re free from condemnation. Through faith in what Jesus has done for us, we are freely accepted by Him, and free to take new steps of obedience even after we fail. • Allison Wilson Lee

• When do you find it difficult to confess your sin to God? How could it be encouraging to remember that God is never surprised by our sin? He calls us to confess our sins to Him often. Even though we’re not even aware of all our sins (Psalm 19:12-14), it’s so good to come to Jesus in our weakness and rest in His forgiveness and in the Spirit’s power to help us move forward in love (Galatians 5:13-16). Consider taking a moment to confess any sins that come to mind.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus… Romans 8:1 (NIV)